Diary

Is The American Conservative Union Sending False Positives?

There is a saying “In order to compromise you must first have something you are willing to lose.”

Thanks to two very recent articles by EE about Mitch McConnell’s rather low opinion of conservatives (“irrelevant”) and John Cornyn’s statement that Obamacare should be fixed, not repealed, (I.e, Big Government is good), one wonders just what they have they aren’t willing to lose in order to do biznez in Washington?

And just what do these American Conservative Union ratings (McConnell lifetime 89+, 2009-96, 2008-80, and Cornyn lifetime 93+, 2009-100, 2008-79) say about true conservatism in Congress? Neither recent position by Mitch and John (above) are conservative in the least. But they do seem to reflect a state of mind that is contrary to their voting record (which seems to be the sole basis for the ACU ratings.)

For instance, in the Obamacare vote, both voted against the bill, ergo a 100 rating, which, quite frankly, tells us nothing. If Cornyn gets a 100, then true conservatives have to start where, at 110?

I smell grade-inflation. In my day, even drunk majors got a 98 on their OER’s, so long as all the sober ones got a 98.1.

Either we dismiss ACU as a “limited” rating source, or they come up with some other measuring stick beyond how the member votes on specific legislation. For congressional leaders especially, I’d like to see some measurement of their public comments, strategic positions, and willingness to compromise, i.e, give things away, vis a vis a general statement of conservative principles. The Mt Vernon Statement is a good baseline in my view.

Or better, submit a questionnaire to the members, so as to gain their concurrence (or non-concurrence) with several articulated conservative-constitutional positions, then measure their votes and public utterances against their own stated belief system.

Right now, one can get an ACU rating of 95-100 and still be willing to Compromise (sell) away the entire Bill of Rights, assuming they even consider the 10th Amendment to even be there anymore. That way, when Cornyn states he is for limited government, or believes it is wrong to govern against the will of people, then publicly states Obamacare should only be trimmed up around the edges, like a haircut, he gets a Zero, which more than offsets that 100 he got for voting against the bill.

Just an observation.